Workers who use English as a second language, or speak no English at all, are often embarrassed about their lack of competency, even to the point of worrying they might lose their jobs because of it. The ideal situation is to have bilingual foremen (or at least a bilingual co-worker) with all foreign language-speaking workers. This is essential when working in a potentially dangerous environment.
Safety on site
Once a new-hire has been oriented, trained and is ready to go, it is better to start him or her with simple jobs to confirm the person's competency level. It is also a good idea to initially keep the person with your most safety-conscious foreman.
Keeping all of your people (not just new hires) "in the loop" is extremely important for worker safety. Before starting any job, the estimator, superintendent, foreman and safety director should get together to determine exactly what is going to take place, how it will be done and everything that could possibly go wrong while it is being completed.
As the job progresses, the foremen should conduct daily safety meetings first thing in the morning. It is much better to have a two-minute meeting five times a week than one weekly 10-minute meeting. Every meeting should be documented and submitted to management regularly. Repetition of safety procedures is an important key to avoiding accidents. And providing the right PPE can mean the difference between a hospital trip and an accident avoided.
OSHA requires that certified people and fully stocked first aid kits be ready when the jobsite is not near a medical facility. Do not count on people who think they know first aid; make sure they actually have the correct training. All foremen should know the basics and be able to recognize how and when to transport people and how to control bleeding.
Burns are highly susceptible to infection, and it is often hard to judge their severity. For that reason, medical care for all burns is advisable. Instant chemical ice packs, which stop the slow penetration of a burn, should be part of every first aid kit.
Make sure everyone knows where the closest hospital or clinic is to minimize confusion in the event of an accident. When choosing nearby clinics, it is best to select one that can handle industrial-type accidents and is affiliated with a hospital. If your staff includes non-English-speaking workers, it is important to locate a bilingual medical staff.
As soon as possible after an accident, a written report should be completed for a number of reasons. Among the most important is that it will serve as a learning tool to prevent a recurrence.
Learning from past experiences, using the right equipment, staying up to date with the latest safety devices and proper training are what make up the best demolition safety programs. They all have made a potentially dangerous business a much safer one.
Major Safety Concerns
The following are among the major safety concerns for those involved in the demolition process: